Force 136

Force 136 was the general cover name for a branch of the British World War II organisation, the Special Operations Executive (SOE). The organisation was established to encourage and supply resistance movements in the enemy-occupied territory and occasionally mount clandestine sabotage operations. Force 136 operated in the regions of the South-East Asian Theatre of World War II which were occupied by Japan from 1941 to 1945.

Although the top command of Force 136 were British officers and civilians, most of those it trained and employed as agents were indigenous to the regions in which they operated. British, Americans or other Europeans could not operate clandestinely in cities or populated areas in Asia, but once the resistance movements engaged in open rebellion, Allied armed forces personnel who knew the local languages and peoples became invaluable for liaison with conventional forces. In Burma in particular, SOE could draw on many former forestry managers and so on, who had become fluent in Burmese or other local languages before the war, and who had been commissioned into the Army when the Japanese invaded Burma.

Force 136
  • 1942–1944 - as GS I(k)
  • 1944 and onwards - as Force 136
Country United Kingdom
TypeWartime intelligence organisation
for Far east
Part ofSpecial Operations Executive
HeadquartersKandy, Ceylon (now known as Sri Lanka)


SOE was formed in 1940, by the merger of existing Departments of the War Office and the Ministry of Economic Warfare. Its purpose was to incite, organise and supply indigenous resistance forces in enemy-occupied territory. Initially, the enemy was Nazi Germany and Italy, but from late 1940, it became clear that the conflict with Japan was also inevitable.

Two missions were sent to set up (and assume political control of) the SOE in the Far East. The first was led by a former businessman, Valentine Killery of Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI), who set up his HQ in Singapore. A scratch resistance organisation was set up in Malaya, but Singapore was captured on 15 February 1942, soon after Japan entered the war.

A second mission was set up in India by another former businessman, Colin Mackenzie of J. and P. Coats, a clothing manufacturer. Mackenzie's India Mission originally operated from Meerut in North West India. Its location was governed by the fear that the Germans might overrun the Middle East and the Caucasus, in which case resistance movements would be established in Afghanistan, Persia and Iraq. When this threat was removed late in 1942 after the battles of Stalingrad and El Alamein, the focus was switched to South East Asia.

The India Mission's first cover name was GS I(k), which made it appear to be a record-keeping branch of GHQ India. The name, Force 136 was adopted in March 1944. From December 1944, the organisation's headquarters moved to Kandy in Ceylon and co-operated closely with South East Asia Command which was also located there.

In 1946, Force 136 was wound up, along with the rest of SOE.



War in the Far East gallery
War in the Far East gallery in the Imperial War Museum London. Among the collection are a Japanese Good Luck Flag, operational map (numbered 11), photographs of Force 136 personnel and guerillas in Burma (15), a katana that was surrendered to a SOE officer in Gwangar, Malaya in September 1945 (7), and rubber soles designed by SOE to be worn under agents boots' to disguise footprints when landing on beaches (bottom left).

The Oriental Mission of SOE attempted to set up "stay-behind" and resistance organisations from August 1941, but their plans were opposed by the British colonial governor, Sir Shenton Thomas. They were able to begin serious efforts only in January 1942, after the Japanese Invasion of Malaya had already begun.

An irregular warfare school, 101 Special Training School (STS 101), was set up by the explorer and mountaineer Freddie Spencer Chapman. Chapman himself led the first reconnaissances and attacks behind Japanese lines during the Battle of Slim River. Although the school's graduates mounted a few operations against the Japanese lines of communication, they were cut off from the other Allied forces by the fall of Singapore. An attempt was made by the Oriental Mission to set up an HQ in Sumatra but this island too was overrun by the Japanese.

Malayan Communist Party

Before the Japanese attacked Malaya, a potential resistance organisation already existed in the form of the Malayan Communist Party. This party's members were mainly from the Chinese community and implacably anti-Japanese. Just before the fall of Singapore, the party's Secretary General, Lai Teck, was told by the British authorities that his party should disperse into the forests, a decision already made by the party's members.

In isolation, the Communists formed the Malayan Peoples' Anti-Japanese Army (MPAJA). Their first arms and equipment were either donated by STS 101 before they were overrun or recovered from the battlefields or abandoned British Army depots. The MPAJA formed rigidly disciplined camps and units in the forest, supplied with food by networks of contacts among displaced Chinese labourers and "squatters" on marginal land. Chapman had remained in Malaya after Singapore fell, but had no radio or means of contacting Allied forces elsewhere. Nevertheless, the MPAJA still regarded Chapman as the official British authority, and Chin Peng was appointed as a liaison officer with Chapman.[1]

In 1942, Singaporean World War II hero Lim Bo Seng had returned to Malaya from Calcutta and recruited some agents who had made their way to India by 1943. Force 136 attempted to regain contact with Chapman in Operation Gustavus, by infiltrating parties which included Lim Bo Seng and former STS 101 members John Davis and Richard Broome by sea into the area near Pangkor Island. Their radio was unable to contact Force 136 HQ in Ceylon and the MPAJA contacts on Pangkor Island were betrayed to the Japanese.

In February 1945, the radio brought in by Gustavus was finally made to work. Chapman was able to visit Force 136 HQ in Kandy and report. By this time, Force 136 had substantial resources, and in the few months before the end of the war, they were able to send 2,000 weapons to the MPAJA and no less than 300 liaison personnel. About half of these were British who had worked or lived in Malaya before the war, the others were Chinese who had made their own way to India or who had been taken there by Force 136 for training. With these resources, the MPAJA was built up to become a substantial guerilla army with about 7,000 fighters.[2] However, Japan surrendered before it had a chance to stage a major uprising.

In isolation in jungle camps for several years, the MCP and MPAJA had purged themselves of many members suspected of treachery or espionage, which contributed to their post-war hard-line attitude and led in turn to the insurgency known as the Malayan Emergency.


The Kuomintang also had a widespread following in the Malaysian Chinese community in the days before the War, but were unable to mount any significant clandestine resistance to the Japanese. This was partly because they were based among the population in the towns, unlike the MCP which drew much of its support from mine or plantation workers in remote encampments or "squatters" on the edge of the forest. Most of the KMT's supporters and their dependents were therefore hostages to any Japanese mass reprisal.

When Lim Bo Seng and other agents from Force 136 attempted to make contact with Kuomintang networks in Ipoh as part of Operation Gustavus, they found that the KMT's underground actions there were tainted by corruption or private feuding.[3]

Malay resistance forces

Three local Malay resistance forces were established by Force 136 after they reached Malaya. Each force was assisted by British Liaison Officers (LOs) and agents from SOE. All the agents were from the Malay ethnic group who were working or studying overseas before World War II.[4][5]

On 16 December 1944, a group of five Malay SOE Agents amd two British Liaison Officers, Major Peter G. Dobree and Captain Clifford, was parachuted into Padang Cermin, near to Temenggor Lake Dam, Perak as part of Operation Hebrides. Their main objective was to set up a guerrilla force for Ipoh and Taiping areas. Their secondary objective was to set up wireless communications between Malaya and Force 136 HQ in Kandy after MPAJA had failed to establish communications. They made contact with the village chiefs of Temenggor (Awang Muhammad) and Bersia (Lahamat Piah). who helped them make contact with Captain Mohd Salleh Hj. Sulaiman, who was a District Officer (DO) during the pre-war British Administration. Between them they established the Askar Melayu Setia (Loyal Malay Troops). Based in Kuala Kangsar, Perak, the HQ of this force later became the main HQ for Force 136 in Malaya.[6]

A team of two operatives, Tunku Osman (who later became the 3rd Malaysian Chief of Defence) and Major Hasler, were parachuted into Kg. Kuala Janing, Padang Terap, Kedah on 1 July 1945, as part of Operation Fighter, Their main objective was to set up a guerrilla force in the Northern Malay Peninsular region. They made contact with Tunku Abdul Rahman (later the 1st Malaysian Prime Minister), who was the Padang Terap's District Officer during the pre-war British Administration, and established a guerilla force in Kedah.

A team of two Malay SOE Agents, Osman Mahmud and Jamal, a Wireless Telecommunication (W/T) operator, Mat Nanyan, and their Liaison Officer, Major J. Douglas Richardson, was parachuted into Raub, Pahang as part of Operation Beacon. Their main objective was to set up wireless communications between the east coast of the Malay Peninsula and the main Force 136 communication hub in Kuala Kangsar, Perak. Their secondary objective was to establish guerrilla forces for East Coast Malaya. After landing, the team made contact with Yeop Mohidin, who was the Assistant District Officer during the pre-war British Administration, and they established Force 136 Pahang, also known as Wataniah Pahang. Wastaniah Pahang was the predecessor for the Rejimen Askar Wataniah ('Territorial Army Regiment', established in 1985.


From 1938, Britain had been supporting the Republic of China against the Japanese, by allowing supplies to reach the Chinese via the Burma Road running through Burma. SOE had various plans regarding China in the early days of the war. Forces were to be sent into China through Burma and a Bush Warfare School under Michael Calvert was established in Burma to train Chinese and Allied personnel in irregular warfare. These plans came to an end with the Japanese conquest of Burma in 1942.

Strictly speaking, SOE was not tasked to operate inside China after 1943, when it was left to the Americans. However, one group, Mission 204, formally known as 204 British Military Mission to China and also known as Tulip Force attempted to provide assistance to the Chinese Nationalist Army. The first phase achieved very little but a second more successful phase was conducted before the Operation Ichi-Go offensive forced their withdrawal in 1944.

The British Army Aid Group under an officer named Lindsay "Blue" Ride did operate near Hong Kong, in territory controlled by the Communist Party of China.

In Operation Remorse, a businessman named Walter Fletcher carried out covert economic operations such as trying to obtain smuggled rubber, currency speculation and so on, in Japanese-occupied China. As a result of these activities, SOE actually returned a financial profit of GBP 77 million in the Far East. Many of these funds and the networks used to acquire them were subsequently used in various relief and repatriation operations, but critics pointed out that this created a pool of money that SOE could use beyond the oversight of any normal authority or accountability.


On 21 December 1941, a formal military alliance between Thailand under Field Marshal Plaek Pibulsonggram and Japan was concluded. At noon on 25 January 1942, Thailand declared war on the United States and Great Britain. Some Thais supported the alliance, arguing that it was in the national interest, or that it was better sense to ally oneself with a victorious power. Others formed the Free Thai Movement to resist. The Free Thai Movement was supported by Force 136 and the OSS, and provided valuable intelligence from within Thailand. Eventually, when the war turned against the Japanese, Phibun was forced to resign, and a Free Thai-controlled government was formed. A coup was being planned to disrupt the Japanese occupying forces in 1945 but was forestalled by the ending of the war.


Burma was the theatre in which the major Allied effort was made in South East Asia from late 1942 onwards, and Force 136 was heavily involved. Initially, it had to compete with regular formations such as the Chindits and other irregular organisations for suitable personnel, aircraft and other resources. It eventually played a significant part in the liberation of the country by slowly building up a national organisation which was used to great effect in 1945.

Two separate sections of SOE dealt with Burma. One concentrated on the minority communities who mainly inhabited the frontier regions; the other established links with the nationalist movements among the majority Bamar peoples in the central parts of the country and the major cities. It has been argued that this division of political effort, although necessary on military grounds, contributed to the inter-community conflicts which have continued in Burma (Myanmar) to the present day.

There were Indians and Afghans who were part of Force 136 and were heavily involved in Burmese operation, like C. L. Sharma, an Indian professor of linguistics at British Army Headquarters in India who later became an active member of Force 136 and spent almost 6 years mainly in various missions of the Force in Burma.

Karens, Chins, Arakanese and Kachins

The majority community of Burma were the Bamar. Among the minority peoples of Burma, including Chins, Karens and Kachins, there were a mixture of anti-Bamar, anti-Japanese and pro-British sentiments. In 1942, the pro-Japanese Burma Independence Army raised with Japanese assistance, attempted to disarm Karens in the Irrawaddy River delta region. This created a large-scale civil conflict which turned the Karens firmly against the Japanese.

The Karens were the largest of the minority communities. Although many lived in the Irrawaddy delta, their homeland can be considered to be the "Karenni", a mountainous and heavily forested tract along the border with Thailand. They had supplied many recruits to the Burma Rifles (part of the British forces in Burma during the early part of the war), and in the chaos of the British retreat into India, many of them had been given a rifle and ammunition and three months' pay, and were instructed to return to their home villages to await further orders. The presence of such trained soldiers contributed to the effectiveness of the Karen resistance.

A few British army officers had also been left behind in the Karenni, in a hasty attempt to organise a "stay-behind" organisation. In 1943, the Japanese made a ruthless punitive expedition into the Karenni, where they knew a British officer was operating. To spare the population, a British liaison officer, Hugh Seagrim, voluntarily surrendered himself to the Japanese and was executed along with several of his Karen fighters.

However, Force 136 continued to supply the Karens, and from late 1944 they mounted Operation Character, in execution similar to Operation Jedburgh in Nazi-occupied France, in which three-man teams were parachuted to organise large-scale resistance in the Karenni. Some of the Character teams had previously served on Jedburgh,[7] others had previously served in the Chindits. In April 1945, Force 136 stage-managed a major uprising in the region in support of the Allied offensive into Burma, which prevented the Japanese Fifteenth Army forestalling the Allied advance on Rangoon. After the capture of Rangoon, Karen resistance fighters continued to harass Japanese units and stragglers east of the Sittang River. It was estimated that at their moment of maximum effort, the Karens mustered 8,000 active guerrillas (some sources claim 12,000), plus many more sympathisers and auxiliaries.

SOE had some early missions to Kachin State, the territory inhabited by the Kachins of northern Burma, but for much of the war, this area was the responsibility of the American-controlled China-Burma-India Theater, and the Kachin guerrillas were armed and coordinated by the American liaison organisation, OSS Detachment 101.

The various ethnic groups (Chins, Lushai, Arakanese) who inhabited the border areas between Burma and India were not the responsibility of Force 136 but of V Force, an irregular force which was under direct control of the Army. From 1942 to 1944, hill peoples in the frontier regions fought on both sides; some under V Force and other Allied irregular forces HQ, others under local or Japanese-sponsored organisations such as the Chin Defence Force and Arakan Defence Force.

Burmese political links

The Burma section of Force 136 was commanded by John Ritchie Gardiner, who had managed a forestry company before the war and also served on the Municipal Council of Rangoon. He had known personally some Burmese politicians such as Ba Maw who had later formed a government which, although nominally independent, collaborated through necessity with the Japanese occupiers.

In 1942, when the Japanese invaded Burma, the majority Bamar (Burman) people had been sympathetic to them, or at least hostile to the British colonial government and the Indian community which had immigrated or had been imported as workers for newly created industries. Bamar volunteers flocked to the Burma Independence Army which fought several actions against British forces. During the years of occupation, this attitude changed. The Burma Independence Army was reorganised as the Burma National Army (BNA), under Japanese control. In 1944, Aung San, the Burmese nationalist who had founded the BIA with Japanese assistance and had been appointed Minister of Defence in Ba Maw's government and commander of the Burma National Army, contacted Burmese communist and socialist leaders, some of whom were already leading insurgencies against the Japanese. Together they formed the Anti-Fascist Organisation (AFO) under the overall leadership of Thakin Soe. Force 136 was able to establish contact with this organisation through links with Burmese communist groups.

During the final Allied offensive into Burma in 1945, there were then a series of uprisings in Burma against the Japanese, which Force 136 supported although it had little control or even influence over the rebellious BNA and its supporters. The first rebellion involved a locally recruited force known as the Arakan Defence Army turning on the Japanese in Arakan. The second involved an uprising by BNA units near Toungoo in Central Burma, beginning on 8 March 1945. The final uprising occurred when the entire BNA changed sides on 27 March.

The forces of the AFO, including the BNA, were renamed the Patriotic Burmese Forces. They played a part in the final campaign to recapture Rangoon, and eliminate Japanese resistance in Central Burma. The BNA's armed strength at the time of their defection was around 11,000. The Patriotic Burmese Forces also included large numbers of communists and other irregulars with loyalty to particular groups and those Karens who had served in the BNA and Karen resistance groups in the Irrawaddy Delta.

In arranging the acceptance of Aung San and his forces as Allied combatants, Force 136 was in direct conflict with the more staid Civil Affairs Service Officers at South East Asia Command's headquarters, who feared the postwar implications of handing out large numbers of weapons to irregular and potentially anti-British forces, and of promoting the political careers of Aung San or the communist leaders. The AFO at the time of the uprising represented itself as the provisional government of Burma. It was eventually persuaded to drop this claim after negotiations with South East Asia Command, in return for recognition as a political movement (the AFPFL).

Indian National Army

Another force operating under Japanese command in Burma was the Indian National Army, a force composed of former prisoners of war captured by the Japanese at Singapore and some Tamils living in Malaya. However, Force 136 was prevented from working with anyone in the Indian National Army, regardless of their intentions. The policy towards the INA was formed and administered by India Command, a British rather than Allied headquarters.

Field Operations

Force 136 was also active in more conventional military-style operations behind Japanese lines in Burma. Such an operation could comprise a group of up to 40 infantry with officers and a radio operator, infiltrating Japanese lines on intelligence and discretionary search and destroy missions. Such missions, which could last several weeks (supplied by C47 transport aircraft) kept close wireless contact with operational bases in India, using high-grade cyphers (changed daily) and hermetically sealed wireless/morse sets.

Every day (Japanese permitting) at pre-arranged times, the radio operator (with escorts) climbed to a high vantage point, usually necessitating a gruelling climb to the top of some slippery, high, jungle-clad ridge, and sent the latest intelligence information and the group's supply requests etc., and received further orders in return. The radio operator was central to a mission's success and his capture or death would spell disaster for the mission. To avoid capture and use under duress by the Japanese, every SOE operative was issued a cyanide pill.

One such radio operator was James Gow (originally from the Royal Corps of Signals), who recounted his first mission in his book From Rhunahaorine to Rangoon. In the summer of 1944, the Japanese push toward India had been stopped at the Battle of Kohima. In the aftermath of the battle, Japanese forces split up and retreated deep into the jungle. As part of the initiative to find out if they were reforming for a further push, he was sent from Dimapur with a 40-strong group of Gurkhas, to locate groups of Japanese forces, identify their strengths and their organised status.

Discretionary attacks on isolated Japanese groups were permitted (no prisoners to be taken), as was the destruction of supply dumps. One particular Gurkha officer under whom James Gow operated was Major William Lindon-Travers, later to become Bill Travers, the well-known actor of Born Free fame.


SOE's French Indo-China Section (1943–1945)

Force 136 played only a minor part in attempts to organise local resistance in French Indochina, led mainly by Roger Blaizot, commander of the French Far East Expeditionary Corps (FEFEO) and General Eugène Mordant, chief of the military resistance. From 1944 to 1945 long-range B-24 Liberator bomber aircraft attached to Force 136 dropped 40 "Jedburgh" commandos from the French intelligence service BCRA, and agents from the Corps Léger d'Intervention also known as "Gaur", commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Paul Huard, into Indochina. However, Indochina was not originally part of the South-East Asian theatre, and therefore not SOE's responsibility. Notable French Force 136 members dropped in Laos in 1945 include: Jean Deuve (22 January), Jean Le Morillon (28 February), Jean Sassi (4 June),[8] Bob Maloubier (August).[8]

There were also American reservations over restoring the French colonial regime after the war, which led the Americans eventually to support the anti-French Viet Minh.[9] Together with the complexities of the relationships between the Vichy-leaning officials in Indochina, and the rival Giraudist and de Gaullist resistance movements, this made liaison very difficult. SOE had few links with the indigenous Viet Minh movement.

Dutch East Indies and Australia

Except for the island of Sumatra, the Dutch East Indies were also outside South East Asia Command's area of responsibility until after the Japanese surrender. In 1943, an invasion of Sumatra, codenamed Operation Culverin, was tentatively planned. SOE mounted some reconnaissances of northern Sumatra (in the present-day province of Aceh). In the event, the plan was cancelled, and nothing came of SOE's small-scale efforts in Sumatra.

During September 1945, after the Japanese surrender, up to 20 small teams (normally 4 men, an Executive Officer, a signaller, a medical officer and a medical orderly) were parachuted into the islands of the Dutch East Indies, 6 weeks ahead of any other allied troops. Known as RAPWI (Repatriation of Allied Prisoners of War and Internees) Teams, they were tasked with locating and arranging care for all those who had been held in camps. Using Japanese Surrendered Troops, they arranged food, quarters and medical supplies for the tens of thousands of POW and internees, saving many lives. Many of the Executive Officers were members of the Anglo Dutch Country Section (ADCS) of Force 136.[10]

Another combined Allied intelligence organisation, Special Operations Australia (SOA), which had the British codename Force 137, operated out of Australia against Japanese targets in Singapore, the other islands of the Dutch East Indies, and Borneo. It included Z Special Unit, which carried out a successful attack on shipping in Singapore Harbour, known as Operation Jaywick.


Until mid-1944, Force 136's operations were hampered by the great distances involved; for example, from Ceylon to Malaya and back required a flight of 2,800 miles (4,500 km). Such distances also made it difficult to use small clandestine craft to deliver supplies or personnel by sea (although such craft was used to supply the MPAJA in Perak late in the war). The Royal Navy made few submarines available to Force 136. Eventually, converted B-24 Liberator aircraft were made available to parachute agents and stores.

In Burma, where the distances involved were not so great, Dakota transport aircraft could be used. Westland Lysander liaison aircraft could also be used over shorter distances.

Notable agents

Original members

Secret agents that received training directly from Special Operations Executive (SOE) in India or Ceylon (now Sri Lanka)

  • Bob Maloubier – A French secret agent working for SOE during WWII. Parachuted into Burma (now Myanmar) as part of Force 136. Later become as one of the founders of SDECE (Predecessor of DGSE; French equivalent of the CIA). Designed the world's first modern diving watches.
  • David Smiley – British special forces and intelligence officer. He fought in the Middle East with Royal Horse Guards and later with the Somaliland Camel Corps before joining No. 52 Commando. He then recruited by SOE and done several operations with SOE in the Middle East. Smiley was transferred to Force 136 for behind enemy line prisoner of war (POW) rescue operation. He was parachuted into Siam (now Thailand) with a team of Force 136 and went to Laos by land. He and the team rescued Jean Le Morillon, a French Force 136 secret agent. Smiley and Morillon later rescue more POW from Laos and bring back to Siam. He was appointed with an OBE for his POW rescue operations. Smiley highly praised in France for his involvement in rescuing Morillon and other French POW in Laos. Turn into a writer after retiring from the military.
  • Ibrahim Ismail – A Johor Military Force officer cadet who was sent to Indian Military Academy before the Japanese invasion of Malaya. Commissioned in British Indian Army and was recruited to Force 136. Parachuted into the western coast of Terengganu as part of Operation Oatmeal together with another two agents. His team was betrayed and then captured by the Japanese. Agreed to become a double agent for Japanese force after being tortured for a month, but manage to inform Force 136 HQ about the situation. Effectively become a triple agent and gave false information about Operation Zipper to the Japanese force. For his cunningness and deception, Ismail was appointed with an MBE by the British. Continues to serve with Johor Military Force after the war and later transferred to the Malay Regiment (now known as the Royal Malay Regiment) in 1951. Appointed to the 5th Malaysian Chief of Defence Forces in 1970.
  • Jean Deuve – A French Army intelligence officer working for SOE during WWII. Parachuted into Burma as part of Force 136. Later made as Head of SDECE. Turn into a writer after retiring from the SDECE.
  • Jean Le Morillon – A French Navy sailor before WWII. Joined Free French Forces after WWII and later assigned to the Free French Secret Service. Attached to Force 136 and received parachute training in India. Parachuted into Laos as part of Force 136. Captured by Kenpeitai in April 1945, and rescued by Force 136 led by David Smiley six months later. Resumed his secret agent activities by rescuing prisoners of war (POW) from Japanese detention camps in Laos and brought back to Siam (now Thailand; Siam stay neutral during WWII). He manages to rescue many POW, including 40 women, 50 children and 10 nuns who are French citizen stranded in Laos after the Japanese invasion. He remains in Indo-China as a secret agent after WWII ends and only return to Paris after retiring. His life, both as a secret agent and POW are documented in French magazine and television.
  • Jean Sassi – A French Army intelligence officer and paratrooper during Operation Jedburgh. Attached to the Force 136 and parachuted into Burma. Later made as Commander of the 11th Shock Parachutist Regiment (11e choc).
  • John Davis – A British Army intelligence officer. Commander of Operation Gustavus, inserted into Malaya via Dutch Submarine, HNLMS O 24. Later made as Commander of Ferret Force. Turn into a writer after retiring from the military.
  • Lim Bo Seng – A celebrated war hero of Singapore. Escaped from Singapore at the beginning of the Japanese invasion of Malaya and joining SOE in India. Part of Operation Gustavus, inserted into Malaya via Dutch Submarine, HNLMS O 24. Captured by the Kenpeitai and died in prison in 1944.
  • Richard Broome – A British Army intelligence officer. Part of Operation Gustavus, inserted into Malaya via Dutch Submarine. Later absorbed to Ferret Force. Turn into a writer after retiring from the military.
  • Tan Chong Tee – A Singaporean national badminton player turns secret agent. Escaped from Singapore at the beginning of the Japanese invasion of Malaya and joining SOE in India. Part of Operation Gustavus, inserted into Malaya via Dutch Submarine. Captured in 1944 and released after WWII ends. Continues to play badminton for Singapore national team.
  • Tunku Osman – A Malayan student studying in England before WWII. Joined British Army Reconnaissance Corps after the Japanese invasion of Malaya. Transferred to Force 136 and receiving secret agents and parachute training in Calcutta, India. Part of Operation Fighter, parachuted into Malaya via B-24 Liberator. Continues to serve with Malaysian Army after WWII and later appointed to the 3rd Chief of Defence Forces in 1964.
  • Walter Fletcher – A British businessman turns secret agent. Part of Operation Remorse, sent into China to smuggle rubber products, foreign currency, diamonds and machinery out of Japanese occupied-Malaya and Indo-China. Elected as Member of Parliament (MP) for Bury in Lancashire after WWII.


  1. ^ Bayly and Harper, p.262
  2. ^ Bayly and Harper, p.453
  3. ^ Bayly and Harper, p.348
  4. ^ Wan Teh, Wan Hashim (1996). "Peranan orang Melayu dalam Gerakan Anti-Jepun". Jebat : Malaysian Journal of History, Politics and Strategic Studies (in Malay). School of History, Politics & Strategic Studies, The National University of Malaysia. 24: 101–108.
  5. ^ Hanif Ghows, Mohd Azzam, Lt Col (Rtd) (2014). Reminiscences of Insurrection: Malaysia's Battle against Terrorism 1960. Kuala Lumpur: Penerbitan Wangsa Zam. ISBN 9789671112205.
  6. ^ Hussain, Mustapha (2005). The Memoirs of Mustapha Hussain: Malay Nationalism Before UMNO. Kuala Lumpur: Utusan Publications. p. 295.
  7. ^ Rayment (2013), pp.241–258
  8. ^ a b Le Journal du Monde news, Patricia Lemonière, 2009
  9. ^ Silent Partners: SOE's French Indo-China Section, 1943–1945, MARTIN THOMAS, Modern Asian Studies (2000), 34 : 943–976 Cambridge University Press
  10. ^ The British Occupation of Indonesia 1945–1946 – Richard McMillan


  • Aldrich, Richard James (2000). Intelligence and the war against Japan: Britain, America and the politics of secret service. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-64186-9.
  • Allen, Louis. Burma: the longest War. J.M. Dent and sons. ISBN 0-460-02474-4.
  • Bayly, Christopher; Tim Harper. Forgotten Armies. Penguin. ISBN 0-14-029331-0.
  • Chapman, Freddie Spencer. The Jungle is neutral. Lyon Press. ISBN 1-59228-107-9.
  • Christie, Arthur. Mission Scapula: Special Operations Executive in the far east. ISBN 0-9547010-0-3.
  • Cruickshank, Charles (1983). SOE in the Far East. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-215873-2.
  • Dear, Ian. Sabotage and Subversion: SOE and OSS at War. Cassell. ISBN 0-304-35202-0.
  • Foot, M. R. D. (1984). SOE. BBC Publications. ISBN 0-563-20193-2.
  • Hedley, John. Jungle Fighter. Tom Donovan Publishing Ltd. ISBN 1-871085-34-9.
  • Latimer, Jon (2004). Burma: The Forgotten War. John Murray. ISBN 978-0-7195-6576-2.
  • Ogden, Alan (2013). Tigers Burning Bright: SOE Heroes in the Far East. Bene Factum Publishing. ISBN 978-1-903071-55-7.
  • Rayment, Sean (2013). Tales from the Special Forces Club. Harper Collins. ISBN 978-0-00-745253-8.
  • Smiley, David (1994). Irregular Regular. Norwich: Michael Russell. ISBN 0-85955-202-0.
  • Tan Chong Tee, Force 136, Story of a WWII resistance fighter, Asiapac Publications, Singapore, 1995, ISBN 981-3029-90-0

External links

Abdul Razak Hussein

Tun Haji Abdul Razak bin Dato' Hussein SMN KStJ (11 March 1922 - 14 January 1976) was the second Prime Minister of Malaysia, serving from 1970 to 1976.

Tun Razak was the Prime Minister responsible in setting up Barisan Nasional, which is the ruling coalition of political parties that held power in Malaysia till 10 May 2018, with Barisan Nasional losing the 14th Malaysia General Election under his son Najib Razak, taking over from its predecessor, the Alliance. He is also renowned for launching the Malaysian New Economic Policy (MNEP).


The Chindits, known officially as the Long Range Penetration Groups, were special operations units of the British and Indian armies, which saw action in 1943–1944, during the Burma Campaign of World War II. The creation of British Army Brigadier Orde Charles Wingate, the Chindits were formed for raiding operations against the Imperial Japanese Army, especially long-range penetration: attacking Japanese troops, facilities and lines of communication, deep behind Japanese lines.

Their operations were marked by prolonged marches through extremely difficult terrain, by underfed troops often weakened by diseases such as malaria and dysentery. There is controversy over the extremely high casualty rate and the debatable military value of the achievements of the Chindits.

Colin Hercules Mackenzie

Colin Hercules Mackenzie, CMG (1898–1986), a soldier, industrialist, and aesthete, was a Special Operations Executive spymaster who led Force 136 throughout the period of its existence during the Second World War.

Colin Mackenzie (disambiguation)

Colin Mackenzie (1754–1821) was Surveyor General of India, art collector and orientalist.

Colin Mackenzie may also refer to:

Colin Mackenzie (Scottish writer) (1796–1854), writer, editor, translator and compiler

Colin Mackenzie (Indian Army officer) (1806–1881), British political officer in Afghanistan

William Colin Mackenzie (1877–1938), Australian fauna park founder

Colin Hercules Mackenzie (1898–1986), head of Force 136

Colin John Mackenzie (1861–1956), British soldier

Colin Mackenzie, 1st Earl of Seaforth (c. 1590–1633), Highland clan chief and Scottish nobleman

Colin Cam Mackenzie, 11th of Kintail (died 1594), Highland chief

Colin MacKenzie (writer), Australian poet and song writer

Colin Mackenzie of Portmore (1770–1830), Scottish lawyer and companion of Sir Walter Scott

Corps Léger d'Intervention

The Corps Léger d'Intervention (CLI) (French for "light intervention corps") was a Pacific War interarm corps of the Far East French Expeditionary Forces commanded by Général de corps d'armée Roger Blaizot and using guerrilla warfare against the Imperial Japanese Army who occupied French Indochina since 1941. It was created by General Charles de Gaulle in 1943 and modeled after the British Chindits Special Forces who fought in the Burma Campaign.

Japanese occupation of Burma

The Japanese occupation of Burma

was the period between 1942 and 1945 during World War II, when Burma was occupied by the Empire of Japan. The Japanese had assisted formation of the Burma Independence Army, and trained the Thirty Comrades, who were the founders of the modern Armed Forces (Tatmadaw). The Burmese hoped to gain support of the Japanese in expelling the British, so that Burma could become independent.In 1942 Japan invaded Burma and nominally declared the colony independent as the State of Burma on 1 August 1943. A puppet government led by Ba Maw was installed. However, many Burmese began to believe the Japanese had no intention of giving them real independence.Aung San, father of future opposition leader and State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, and other nationalist leaders formed the Anti-Fascist Organisation in August 1944, which asked the United Kingdom to form a coalition with the other Allies against the Japanese. By April 1945, the Allies had driven out the Japanese. Subsequently, negotiations began between the Burmese and the British for independence. Under Japanese occupation, 170,000 to 250,000 civilians died.

Japanese occupation of Singapore

The Japanese occupation of Singapore or Syonan-to (昭南島, Shōnan-tō) in World War II took place from 1942 to 1945, following the fall of the British colony on 15 February 1942. Military forces of the Empire of Japan occupied it after defeating the combined British, Indian, Australian, and Malayan garrison in the Battle of Singapore. The occupation was to become a major turning point in the histories of several nations, including those of Japan, Britain, and the then-colonial state of Singapore. Singapore was renamed Syonan-to (昭南島, Shōnan-tō), meaning "Light of the South Island" and was also included as part of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere (Japanese: 大東亜共栄圏, Hepburn: Dai Tōa Kyōeiken).

Singapore was officially returned to British colonial rule on 12 September 1945, following the formal signing of the surrender instrument at the Municipal Building, now known as the City Hall.

Lim Bo Seng

Lim Bo Seng (27 April 1909 – 29 June 1944) was a Chinese resistance fighter based in Singapore and Malaya during World War II. He is celebrated as a war hero in Singapore.

Long-range reconnaissance patrol

A long-range reconnaissance patrol, or LRRP (pronounced "lurp"), is a small, well-armed reconnaissance team that patrols deep in enemy-held territory.The concept of scouts dates back to the origins of warfare itself. However, in modern times these specialized units evolved from examples such as Rogers' Rangers in colonial British America, the Lovat Scouts in World War One, the Long Range Desert Group and the Special Air Service in the Western Desert Campaign and North West Europe, similar units such as Force 136 in East Asia, and the special Finnish light infantry units during the Second World War.

Postwar, the role was carried in various North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) and British Commonwealth countries by units that could trace their origins to these wartime creations such as the British SAS, Australia's Special Air Service Regiment and the New Zealand Special Air Service, 1er RPIMa, GCP, Groupement de Commandos Mixtes Aéroportés in France and the United States Army Rangers, Long Range Surveillance teams, and Reconnaissance, Surveillance, and Target Acquisition squadrons.

Malayan Peoples' Anti-Japanese Army

The Malayan People's Anti-Japanese Army (Chinese: 马来亚人民抗日军; abbreviated MPAJA) was a paramilitary group that was active during the Japanese occupation of Malaya from 1942 to 1945. Composed mainly of ethnic Chinese guerrilla fighters, the MPAJA was the biggest anti-Japanese resistance group in Malaya. Founded on 18 December 1941 during the Japanese invasion of Malaya, the MPAJA was conceived as a part of a combined effort by the Malayan Communist Party (MCP), British colonial government, and various anti-Japanese groups to resist the Japanese occupation of Malayan territory. Although the MPAJA and the MCP were officially different organisations, many saw the MPAJA as a de facto armed wing of the MCP due to its leadership being staffed by mostly ethnic Chinese communists. Many of the ex-guerrillas of the MPAJA would later join the MCP in its open conflict with the BMA during the Malayan Emergency.

Paddy O'Sullivan

Maureen Patricia "Paddy" O'Sullivan (3 January 1918 – 5 March 1994) was a member of the Special Operations Executive (SOE) during World War II and worked as a wireless operator for the French Section.

Born in Dublin, Ireland in 1918, the daughter of John Aloysius O'Sullivan (1873–1949), an Irish journalist and a German mother, Johanna Repen (1889–1919), who died when Paddy was only 15 months old, she began her schooling at St Louis Convent in Dublin. At the age of seven she was sent to live with an aunt in Belgium. There she attended convent school in Coutrai and then the Athenée Royale in Ostend.

At the beginning of the war she was a nurse working at Highgate Hospital in London. She joined the WAAF on 7 July 1941, as an Aircraft Handler General Duties, and was later promoted to Section officer.

After joining the SOE, Paddy parachuted into Limoges on 23 March 1944. The weather was extremely foggy and the pilot suggested that they return to England, but Paddy was determined and she jumped. Landing heavily, she was temporarily concussed, but always said her life was saved by the 2 million francs strapped to her back. Paddy's alias was Micheline Marcelle Simonet and her cover story was that she was a 'dame de compagnie' of a doctor in Paris, where she helped the doctor in the surgery as well as with his children; she was taking one month's leave to look for a lost Belgian parent in the Creuse area.

Following successful work with the Fireman network, Paddy returned to England on 5 October 1944. After her cover was blown in June 1945 she was posted to Force 136 in Calcutta as a liaison officer to work with the French.

Rejimen Askar Wataniah

The Rejimen Askar Wataniah (Territorial Army Regiment) is the military reserve force of the Malaysian Army. An equivalent formation in the British Army would be the Territorial Army.

The Regiment infantry units formerly consisted of 2 series of reservist; the mobilised 300 series and the volunteer 500 series. The 300 series, which consisted of 5 infantry battalions, with mobilised reservists for full-time duty, have since 2008 been converted into a new regular border regiment, the Rejimen Sempadan. The 500 series are reserve volunteers units, based in major towns and cities throughout the whole country. In all there are about sixteen 500 series infantry battalions, in addition to other support and service support reserve units.

Roger Blaizot

Roger Charles André Henri Blaizot (17 May 1891 – 21 March 1981) was a French military leader, who commanded French forces during World War II and the First Indochina War. Blaizot served in Indochina through the last two years of the World War II, having been sent to command the Far East French Expeditionary Forces (Forces Francaises Extrême Orient) by Charles de Gaulle. Following the war, Blaizot led a fifty-member staff group to Indochina as part of a cooperation between British Special Operations Executive agents of Force 136 and the French government to ensure French retention of South East Asia, this having been approved by Lord Philip Mountbatten in 1943. Blaizot then went on to command the French forces in Indochina from 1948 until 1949, succeeding Jean-Étienne Valluy and being succeeded himself by Marcel Carpentier.

Roger Landes

Roger Landes LdH CdeG MC & Bar (16 December 1916 – 16 July 2008) was an agent and radio operator in the Special Operations Executive (SOE), F section. Heading and arming Resistance groups, he played an important role in the liberation in the Bordeaux region, and ended the war in Force 136.

State of Burma

The State of Burma (Burmese: ဗမာ) was a puppet state of the Empire of Japan, created in 1943 during the Japanese occupation of Burma in World War II.

Tan Chong Tee

Tan Chong Tee (15 October 1916 – 24 November 2012) was a Chinese resistance fighter based in Singapore and Malaya during World War II. An accomplished badminton player before the war, he joined Force 136 around 1942 after Singapore fell to the Japanese. In 1944, while on a mission, Tan, along with Lim Bo Seng and other Force 136 members, were captured by the Japanese. He was subjected to torture during his captivity. After the war, he returned to playing badminton and later became a businessman.

Texas Military Forces

The Texas Military Forces is the three-branch military of the U.S. state of Texas. It is composed of the Texas Army National Guard, the Texas Air National Guard, and the Texas State Guard. All three branches are administered by the state adjutant general, an appointee of the Texas governor, and fall under the command of the governor. (The Army and Air National Guards are under the command of the Governor, unless the President of the United States activates the Guard into federal service by executive order. As for the Texas State Guard, the governor of Texas has sole control over this force.)

The Texas military was first established by Stephen F. Austin on February 18, 1823, under the authorization of the emperor of Mexico, Agustín de Iturbide, who directed Austin "to organize the colonists into a body of the national militia, to preserve tranquility," as well as to make war on Native American tribes who were hostile to newly established Texas settlements. All of the Texan militias would come under the command of Sam Houston during the Texas War of Independence between Texas and Mexico beginning in 1835 and ending in 1836 after Texas secured its independence to become the new nation of the Republic of Texas.

From 1836 to 1845, the Texas militias being a part of the Army of the Republic of Texas fell under the command of the President of the Republic of Texas. After Texas became the 28th US state in 1845, the state military and its various branches have fallen under the command of the Texas governor.

The Price of Peace

The Price of Peace is a Singaporean television drama set in Japanese-occupied Singapore during World War II. It stars Rayson Tan , Xiang Yun , Chen Shucheng , Jacintha Abisheganaden , James Lye , Lina Ng , Christopher Lee , Ivy Lee , Carole Lin & Ryan Choo as the casts of the series. It was first aired on TCS Eighth Frequency (now MediaCorp Channel 8) on 30 June 1997. Although the drama was originally in Mandarin, an English-dubbed version was also broadcast on TCS Fifth Frequency (now MediaCorp Channel 5) in 1999. The drama has been rerun on MediaCorp Channel 8 several times since its premiere and its latest airing was in August 2013. The series is based on a 1995 book of the same title (published by Asiapac Books), which contains numerous first-hand accounts of war veterans and eyewitnesses.

United States Second Fleet

The United States Second Fleet is a numbered fleet in the United States Navy responsible for the East Coast and North Atlantic Ocean. The Fleet was established following World War II. In September 2011, Second Fleet was deactivated in view of the United States Government's perception that the potential military threat posed by Russia had diminished. On 4 May 2018, Admiral John M. Richardson, the Chief of Naval Operations, announced plans to reestablish Second Fleet amid heightened tensions between NATO and Russia. It was reestablished on 24 August 2018, with Vice Admiral Andrew “Woody” Lewis in command.Second Fleet's historic area of responsibility included approximately 6,700,000 square miles (17,000,000 km2) of the Atlantic Ocean from the North Pole to the Caribbean and from the shores of the United States to the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Second Fleet's United States West Coast counterpart was United States First Fleet from the immediate post-World War II years until 1973, and United States Third Fleet from 1973.

Prior to its 2011 disestablishment, Second Fleet oversaw approximately 126 ships, 4,500 aircraft, and 90,000 personnel home-ported at U.S. Navy installations along the United States East Coast.


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